Tips about the freediving mask, by Freedive l'Estartit
Two are the more common questions that we use to get in our freediving school Freedive l’Estartit regarding the mask: Is it possible to use a diving or snorkeling mask? and, how should we choose the right mask?
The answer to the first question is easy: No. Or at least, we don’t recommend that.
To answer the second question we have written this article, which we think can help with the doubts about how to choose a freediving mask and, in addition, to explain why is not recommendable to use a diving or snorkeling mask.
When we are under the water using a mask it becomes really uncomfortable when it leaks, but this is especially annoying when we are freediving as it can destroy our concentration, which is basic when freediving. So, the first feature which we must ensure when choosing a freediving mask is that it fits perfectly our face and have not any leak. One of the most critical places is under the nose.
Snorkeling and diving final goal is to observe the sea life and the enviroment, so we will choose a mask that will provide us with a great visibility and wide vision field.
But in the other side, for freediving we need a reduced internal volume mask, because as soon as we are going down the air inside the mask is going to get compressed and we will need to equalize it with the air in our lungs, and the less air we need to equalize the less air we are going to spend.
Masks which have lenses smaller and closer to the eyes will have reduced internal air volum.
Usually, reduced internal air volume masks also have reduced visibility field which is not really important while freediving. But that can be helpful to get relaxed and to focus (as it reduce the distractions), which is really important in this sport.
It is recommendable to choose a mask made of hypoalergenic silicone.
Silicone is the material which adapts better to the face, giving good sealing. There is several different kinds of silicone, getting softer and more flexible every day.
Most of these silicones are hypoalergenic, which is good for those with sensitive skin.
The most advisable color for freediving is black, as it reduces reflections inside the mask and it helps with the relaxation and focusing. But some people get a claustrophobic feeling with it, so they prefer clear silicone masks.
Regarding the lenses, it’s important that they will be completely clear, avoiding dark or mirror lenses, which will difficult our buddy to see our eyes, which is really important regarding the safety.
Remember the importance of a good training for a safe freediving practice.